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Proceedings Paper

Lightweight airborne standoff minefield detection laser prototype
Author(s): Ronald R. Rupp; Zenon I. Derzko; George R. Ax
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Paper Abstract

Laser illumination techniques continue to be investigated to support airborne detection of minefields. Polarization characteristics of manmade objects and natural backgrounds are potential discriminants for detection of mines and minefields or supplementing other detection features. NVESD sponsored development of a dual-band system prototype to investigate airborne minefield detection and determine the feasibility of packaging a system for use aboard a tactical UAV in day and night operations. The prototype contains both an infrared sensor and a laser subsystem. The laser subsystem is an active imaging near IR (NIR) assembly consisting of a laser illuminator and a receiver. The illuminator integrates multiple stacked laser diode arrays with a laser controller capable of generating short, high-energy pulses of selectable amplitude to control optical power output. The receiver includes a linear polarization analyzer and a range-gated, image intensified CCD camera. This paper presents a technical description of the active NIR subsystem, including laboratory and field testing, system modeling, and preliminary results of analysis and signal processing efforts. We describe measured reflectivity and polarization characteristics of various object classes, including mines, backgrounds, and clutter. We indicate the observed class separability due to the polarization characteristics of the object classes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 September 2004
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5415, Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets IX, (21 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.556016
Show Author Affiliations
Ronald R. Rupp, U.S. Army Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate (United States)
Zenon I. Derzko, U.S. Army Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate (United States)
George R. Ax, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5415:
Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets IX
Russell S. Harmon; J. Thomas Broach; John H. Holloway, Editor(s)

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